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21st-Apr-2017

Try to ensure BNP`s joining next polls

By UNB, DHAKA

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday urged the government to try to ensure their party's participation in the next general election instead of scaring it of cancelling its registration with the Election Commission.
"Look for ways how you'll take BNP to polls. There's no point in freighting us that our party's registration will be annulled if we boycott the election. No national election will be held in the country without BNP's participation," he told a discussion.
Fakhrul also warned the government that it will not be able to subdue BNP by resorting to killing and enforced disappearance, and threatening to arrest its leaders and activists.
BNP arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club marking the 5th anniversary of 'enforced disappearance' of its leader M Ilias Ali.        Ilias Ali, BNP's the then Sylhet divisional organising secretary and a former MP, went missing along with his driver Ansar Ali on the midnight of April 17 in 2012. Since then, BNP has been blaming security agencies for his mysterious disappearance, an allegation denied by the government.
Reacting to AL leader Mohammad Nasim's remark that the polls will not hamper if BNP does not join it, Fakhrul said the ruling party will not be allowed to hold a lopsided election or manipulate it staying in power this time.
"As a liberal democratic and election-oriented party, BNP wants to join the election, but it is Awami League which will have to pave a way for BNP to join it by removing all obstacles. The election must be held under a nonparty and neutral government and a neutral Election Commission. Otherwise, no polls will be allowed to be held," the BNP leader said.
Mentioning that their party is forming new committees of its many units across the country, he asked his party colleagues to get united and create strongholds of the party at every part of the country to make their anti-government movement a success.  Fakhrul accused the government of perpetuating its power by using enforced disappearance as a weapon, and said it has made over 500 BNP leaders and activists, including Ilias Ali, disappeared. He demanded the government immediately return Ilias to his family. "Or else, you will have to be accountable for it some day."